Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Alternative View of PTSD

When someone recalls a past traumatic event, even if it is simply a smell or a sound, that sensory trigger can start a cascade of events in the brain that lead to a feeling or sensation that mimics the feelings and sensations of the original trauma. In effect, that person re-experiences the trauma each time it is recalled.

 When remembering a traumatic experience, a part of  the brain called the hippocampus, signals the thalamus and amygdyla to release stress hormones, which create a series of neurochemical responses that lead to feelings that are similar to the original response to the trauma. Over time the  person becomes habituated to the  neurochemical response. Even though the thoughts and feelings associated with the response are usually not pleasant, and most likely are quite unpleasant, they are familiar. What is familiar is, in a strange way, comforting. In a sense, the body/mind gets addicted to the feeling.

Once this is understood, one can use methods to shake up and interrupt the  normal habituated response. The result is to reprogram the response to the same triggers that remind the person of the original trauma. Acupuncture is a safe and very successful approach for treating for PTSD. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which is based on acupuncture meridians, is also another highly effective method.  Both of these methods are able to interrupt the cellular memory and create new relaxing responses to the triggers of past traumas without using medication.

Please contact my office for more information on getting help with

Friday, July 1, 2011

Seven minutes of Sanity

There is so much overwhelm going on that we often find ourselves exhausted at the end of  the day without any feeling of having control over how our day went. We just ended up here, and now we are too tired to do anything about it. "Let's just watch a movie......"

Try this. Set your cell phone alarm to a designated time where you can take out seven minutes. Seven minutes is just about the right amount of time that you won't feel is too much of a luxury and it is enough to accomplish the task.

 It is best to do this outside. If in the city, find some semblance of a natural setting. A park, a patch of green, a tree, or just a potted plant, or even just allowing yourself to see the sky. For seven minutes do nothing. No thing in particluar.  No agenda, other than to do nothing. This means no checking cell phone or email. If you can  be alone and not  be seen, you can close your eyes or leave them open, but you don't need  to worry about someone wondering what you are doing. If you are in a public place, you may have to find a way to let others know to leave you  alone. You can turn your cell phone off, so there are no emf's, and hold it up  to your ear as if you were in conversation.  Or you can just walk slowly with eyes downward. The point is to give yourself the time and space of freedom and joy of time and space, with no compulsion  to be  productive.  You may or may not meditate. You may or may not think. You may or may not do anything in particular. Seven minutes of complete freedom.  See how that works for you. Warning, may become habit forming.